Thursday, May 01, 2014

Nature Finds a Way

Zubayr, Iraq, 27 April 2014

Image (c) Jennifer R. Pournelle. Raw sewage flows into the Basra River at Abu Al Khasib near Az-Zubayr, Iraq

‚ÄčEven with the foulest of raw materials, life emerges. Just a few miles upstream from its outlet into tidal flats at the head of the Gulf, raw sewage flows into the Shatt Al Basra from the municipal cloaca - all that remains of the primary and secondary sewage treatment systems destroyed and abandoned during war and decades of economic sanctions. Yet, in the hinterground, amid salt-fouled dirt, sewage-fouled water, and petrochemical-fouled air, sandpipers and egrets scuttle and poke around a rough patch of marsh grasses, eking out a few small clams and fingerlings. With a bit of help, this drainage system can be improved and expanded into a larger, healthier remediation marsh - something more like that in my previous entry - eliminating the need for expensive new waste treatment plants, while vastly improving downstream water quality. #cmarsh

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